Zambia, the lesser travelled Southern Africa

Tanzania has its mountains, Kenya its game parks, Malawi its lake, South Africa its beaches and Zambia? It has its people. Okay, so it has Victoria Falls, which is rather impressive, but if I had to say my favourite thing about Zambia, it would be its people.


Zambians are innovative, engaging, curious and likeable. My favourite pastime in Zambia is to strike up a chat with someone and just let it run- the IMF, the problem with traditional farming methods, the progress of womens rights, how annoying elephants are... which makes it very handy that buses tend to breakdown during the 8 hour rides between towns, as you get loads and loads of time to sit in the baking sun, sip warm cokes and have a chat.


Zambia is not very touristy which is a bonus for anyone interested in immersing themselves in Southern Africa and getting a feel for what life is really like in this warm and friendly country. In 2013, Zambia was declared a middle income country, which may come as a surprise to the subsistence farmer in Kariba or the second hand clothes seller in Livingstone, but stay for a while and you'll get the feeling that things are on the up for this unpretentious country and it's an exciting time to be there and be a part of it.

 

Vic Falls in low water

Vic Falls in low water

 

Volunteer Opportunities: see Volunteer Zambia

Quick Facts:

Capital: Lusaka

Getting there: Interntaional flights into Lusaka, Livingstone and Lilongwe (actually in Malawi but closer to projects in the east of Zambia than Lusaka)

Airline: KLM, Ethiopian Airlines

Currency: Kwacha. Roughly 500 ZMK = 1usd

Budget: Cost of living is relatively high, especially in comparison to Malawi next door. Budget 15 - 20 usd per night for accommodation, 30 usd per week for food if self-catering and 25 usd for any long distance bus rides.

Languages: There are roughly 73 local languages, so email in advance to find out the main language in your placement area! However, you will get by with English pretty well.

Visas: Techinically a work permit is required, but it seems to be quite a bit of hassle. Speak to your volunteer co-ordinator, most will say that a tourist visa is enough at first, though some will begin the process of applying for one on our behalf before arriving.

Economics: Though many are struggling with poverty, Zambia was declared a middle income country in 2013. Much of the money in Zambia comes from the copper mines in the west, though NGO's seems to be the life blood of the capital. Urban Zambia certainly feels more developed than its neighbours to the east, north and west, and virtually anything you need is available in the cities and towns. However, as Zambia is landlocked and does not have a well developed manufacturing industry, almost everythng is imported, which drives up the prices of everything from food to car parts.

Tourism: Victoria Falls is hugely impressive. It is the largest (though neither highest nor widest....) waterfall in the world and definately worth a visit, especially during rafting season! You should also not miss a chance to check out Zambias wildlife in one of it's many game parks and if you like crocs, get yourself to Kariba lake!!

 

Accommodation

The Ethical Volunteer promotes locally owned and managed lodges and hostels so any costs you pay trickle down into the community (and dont go towards and agency based in America or Europe!)

 

All Ethical Volunteer Members receive a 50 Euro discount on a one months stay and 10% thereafter. So sign up and you will be contributing towards local economies, save money and support our ongoing work to bring you ethical and independent volunteer opportunities!

 

Dorm Rooms Kalulu

Kalulu Backpackers

Lusaka

For info on Lusaka and projects nearby, click here


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kabwe

Luangwa Safari Lodge

Kabwe

For info on Kabwe and projects nearby, click here

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Croc Valley


Croc Valley

South Luangwa National Park, Mfuwe

For info on projects nearby, click here